Jun 17, 2013 7:50 PM by Andy Koen

Fire will send ripples through local housing market

COLORADO SPRINGS - The sudden displacement of nearly 500 families in Black Forest will send ripples through the local housing market. In the short term, the charred landscape could push down home prices in the forest.

"If somebody is looking across nothing but a black forest, certainly that will affect values and the ambiance and be a complete reminder every time somebody looks out the window," said Alan Wilaby, a broker for ERA Shields who lives and sells homes in Black Forest.

He says it's also likely that fire victims looking to rebuild will have to pay higher construction costs. Framers and roofers in particular were in high demand before the fire.

"You know those guys have been working for nothing for the last six years and now all of sudden they have the opportunity to make a little bit back, I think we will see some inflation just in the overall cost of building," Wilaby said.

He expects rentals to be scarce during reconstruction which could drive up rent prices across the community.

"We were already looking at a 15 percent rent increase over the next couple years; we could be looking at a 25 percent rate increase now."

In the long run, Wilaby expects home values in the forest to rebound, particularly because the average home will be newer. He also expects more vacant lots in the forest, which have been scarce, to come onto the market.


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